Not so limitless
“What we need is Limitless 2… but with a woman”, “No. What we need is Transcendence 2.. but with a women”, “Limitless”, “Transcendence”, “LIMITLESS”, “TRANSCENDENCE”. “Ah sod it let’s just do a Limitless/Transcendence mashup”.
I wonder if that’s how Luc Besson approached his new film Lucy. If you’ve seen the trailer then you probably think this is Limitless 2… but with a woman and if you do think that then congratulations you are half right.
The film starts with Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) being kidnapped and forced to smuggle drugs inside of her. So legend/myth/rumour/fact has it that we only use 10% of our brain although if you ask my girlfriend I’m sure she would claim that I am pushing about 3% tops. She’s probably not far off the truth. Anyway, after the packaging splits inside her she starts to unlock more of her brain allowing her to do cool stuff like feel and connect to anything and everything.
This idea of being able to feel everything appeals to my inner hippie. You’d be able to start to understand the way that the ground supports us, the way the trees breathe, the way the air floats. You might even be able to start to understand women! It’s a theme that has always deeply fascinated me.
The idea behind the drug , named CPH4, is that it is based on a growth hormone that is present during a babies growth and so essentially the drug speeds up growth and evolution. Evolution is a theme that is present throughout most of the film and tries to make sense of what is happening to Lucy and it’s a theme that has always deeply fascinated me.
However, if you are studying any sort of science don’t expect this film to be in any way factual as we soon see her develop super powers which, yeah you guessed it, is also a theme that has always deeply fascinated me.
This is when the film get’s really good. Just like limitless; Lucy’s new found power comes at a price as her extreme metabolism starts tearing her body apart and the only way to combat it is to snort a fistful of CPH4. In order to get more she recruits the help of a french cop named Pierre Del Rio (Amr Waked) to track down other smuggled parcels. When he has them all Lucy races through Paris to secure them in what is the films best scene. If anyone has seen director Luc Besson’s previous film Taxi – no not the shit remake with Queen Latifah, the 1998 french film – you will know that Luc Besson can deliver some really exciting car chases.
What is really well done is Lucy’s dilemma as to what to do with all this new knowledge as her brain power keeps expanding. Lucy contacts a professor in evolutionary theory called Norman (Morgan Freeman). Norman suggests that all reproduction is evolutions attempt to pass on information so that’s what she should do.
Whilst the mission to pass on the information is key to the films climax it’s also where it falls apart. The CPH4 drug dealers are casually shooting up Paris with little consequence. The love interest with Del Rio just goes nowhere in fact it barely even starts. The scientific study with Professer Norman feels as thorough as you local takeaways cleaning routine. All of this whilst Limitless rapidly evolves into a completely different film; Transcendence… but with a woman.
It’s a shame, there is something about almost all Luc Besson films that I really like but I couldn’t get on with this. Perhaps it’s because it’s a film of two halves and neither half ever feels particularly complete. The film certainly has it’s moments but I think I started loosing interest after the car chase.
- The car chase
- Promising concepts
- Sco-Jo is a bad ass
- If you don’t like your head to be messed with
- The ending
- Under-utilised support characters